By Nick van Bloss
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Additional info for Busy Body: My Life with Tourette's Syndrome
4) Make contact. This is the hardest and potentially the most hazardous part. All ten fingers must ‘land’ on the object at exactly the same moment. No one finger can be tardy here. Assuming successful contact has been made, I then hold the position for a few seconds and press the pads of the tips of my fingers into the object – again with an equal amount of force, otherwise it’s back to stage 3 again. Hard objects just get a good press, but slightly more flexible ones always deserve a bit of gentle manipulation, I think – a slight pull, push or bend.
I knew that my sister didn’t have much time for me. I kind of knew that my friends accepted me. I suppose I knew that I was becoming submerged in my own (Touretty) world, but I knew that I had to be. I didn’t know anyone else who did the same odd things as me. Other people were all so calm and so wonderfully similar, so absolutely normal. They weren’t doing the things that I did. I wondered why I was made so different and if somewhere along the road I had done something terribly wrong that I was now being punished for.
Well, like the Touretty touching, where I have to touch again and again until my brain lets me know that I’ve had a successful touch, it’s exactly the same with imitating sounds. Luckily, I usually manage to hit the high note on my first attempt, but if it really is too high and on my first try both my brain and my ears tell me that I was way off, then I have to keep on trying until either by some miracle I do hit the note or my voice just gives in and refuses point-blank to try anymore. It’s frustrating, painful and so perverse, and I often end up feeling such a failure.